Almost every child wants to own Lassie, the wonder Collie. Unfortunately, if the child really expects one dog to be that incredible, a Collie puppy may be a bit of a disappointment. After all, in real life, Lassie is actually played by several hard working Collies.
The Collie was originally bred to herd sheep and still has a strong protective instinct, which makes the breed an excellent choice for a family dog. Of course, not every Collie is a highly intelligent, diligent protector. Some of these dogs are high strung and nervous, but most are wonderful with children. The American Kennel Club classifies the Collie as part of the Herding Group. These dogs weigh 55 to 80 pounds and stand 22 to 26 inches tall.
The Collie is strong and graceful and has plenty of endurance. This dog’s almond shaped eyes seem to sparkle with intelligence, whether they are brown or blue in color. The Collie’s prick ears give it an alert appearance. The Collie can be rough or smooth coated. The rough coat is longer and fuller than the smooth coat. This breed can come in sable and white, tricolor, or blue merle colors.
The Collie enjoys living in the midst of an active family. This breed is not a good choice for apartment living, since it loves to spend time outside. A home with a large yard is ideal for the Collie breed.
Although the Collie is friendly and outgoing, this dog is protective of its family and takes its duties as a watchdog seriously. Your Collie will bark at intruders, whether they are people, cats, squirrels, or pieces of trash blowing around the yard.
The Collie can be quite headstrong and can get into quite a lot of mischief as a puppy. You should consider attending puppy obedience classes with your Collie, since it is easier to train a small puppy who hasn’t developed bad habits than a sixty pound dog that has. Also, be sure to be firm with your puppy about staying on the floor if you do not want Collie hair on all of your furniture. Once you allow your dog on the furniture, he will feel that he has a right to be there any time you leave the room.
The Collie breed has very few health problems. Eye diseases and PRA are the most common problems these dogs face. In fact, you are much more likely to take your puppy to the veterinarian because he has injured himself while jumping from a moving vehicle or exploring his surroundings than you will for a health problem.
Collies are quite happy to pack away plenty of food. These dogs have a tendency to overeat, so it is best to give them three small meals a day. If your Collie develops a bulge around his middle, talk to your veterinarian about switching to a food that promotes weight loss.
Although a rough coated Collie has long hair, the Collie does not need extensive grooming. Brush through your dog’s coat several times a week to avoid mats, paying close attention to the hair around his face, behind his ears, and around his legs.
The Collie is an intelligent family dog. If you want a dog who will protect your family and will play with the kids, the Collie may just be the perfect pet for you.